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  4. Bringing Context to the Classroom: Incorporating Soft Skills (Pragmatics) into ESL Instruction

Bringing Context to the Classroom: Incorporating Soft Skills (Pragmatics) into ESL Instruction

Date: Thursday, May 11, 2017

Time: 4:30 – 6:00

Location: TH 341 University of Lethbridge

Cost: Free

Parking: Free in Lot E


The ability to communicate effectively requires linguistic knowledge, but it is also dependent upon contextual knowledge about language usage. Contextual knowledge is grounded in social and cultural norms that are often difficult for ELLs to identify, which can have an adverse influence on the efficacy of communication. As a result, it is important for teachers to introduce learners to pragmatic conventions. In this workshop, participants will be introduced to the concept of pragmatics, explore useful resources related to pragmatic instruction, and learn how to incorporate pragmatics into their classes.


The workshop will be followed by an informal social event at the campus pub, the Zoo, located adjacent to the session in Turcotte Hall on the University of Lethbridge campus.  



Workshop Facilitator: Alana Johnson

Alana Johnson was born, raised and currently resides in Southern Alberta.  She has her Master’s Degree in Theology from St. Andrew’s College in Saskatoon and worked 20 years for the United Church of Canada as ordained clergy.  Alana worked for nine years as an ESL literacy instructor for the Taber and District Community Adult Learning Association in their Families Learning Together Program.  She is also trained as an essential skills specialist, and has worked with many businesses and organizations in this field.  Alana began work as a Rural Routes Advisor for NorQuest College in August 2016 and enjoys sharing her experience and knowledge as well as connecting with ESL providers in Southern Alberta. 

ATESL Chapter: Southern